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Clear Lake Rescue 2015-09-01

Iowa Conservation Officer Benjamin Bergman returns to dock at the Department of Natural Resources boat ramp Tuesday in Clear Lake after responding to a call where a 77-year-old man fell off a boat and became hooked on the boat's docking hardware.

CLEAR LAKE | A 66-year-old Ames woman was credited for saving the life of a man hurt while boating on Clear Lake.

Karolyn Ellett was in a boat with Jim Duea, 77, of Ames, who fell and was impaled through the leg by a piece of hardware, a boat cleat, on the edge of the boat on Tuesday afternoon, officials say.

A cleat is a piece of flat metal used to tie vessels to docks.

Duea, hooked in the upper left leg, was suspended over the side of the boat and partially in the water. Ellett called 911 and was able to keep Duea from falling overboard, said Iowa Conservation Officer Ben Bergman.

"She took a rope and roped him and was able to keep his head and chest out of the water," Bergman said. "She really is a life saver in this."

The incident was reported about 12:50 p.m. about three-eighths of a mile from the Clear Lake seawall.

Clear Lake firefighters and a Cerro Gordo County sheriff's deputy freed Duea from cleat and took him to shore on Fire Boat Bud, the department's new rescue boat.

Duea was taken by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa.

He was still being evaluated as of late Tuesday afternoon, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Duea's injuries do not appear to be life-threatening, Bergman said.

Clear Lake police also assisted.



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